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What are some effects on Canada of pursuing national self- determination?

Pursuing national self determination is attempted all over the world by all types of different nations. Self-determination can be described as "creation of national governmental institutions by a group of people who view themselves as a distinct nation (for example, because they have a common language)"(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/national+self-determination). .Many different Nations and groups of people strive for self-determination. Examples that will be explored in this page are the First Nations and their pursuing of self-determination, The Inuit pursuit, The Metis pursuit and Quebec's strive for self-determination.

Examples of headlines appear all over in regard to Quebec pursing self-determination

Quebec and their Pursuit for National Self-Determination

A distinct culture group is one who shares the same language, same historical traditions and same territory. Francophone Quebecois classifies themselves as a distinct culture. Confusion has been sparked due to the fact that Quebec wants to separate from Canada while still keep their economic and political relationship with Canada.

The primary goal of many people in Quebec is to separtate from Canada. In attempts of seperating the Bloc Quebecois was a political party used to strive for Quebec self-determination. The interests of many aboriginal groups in Quebec were clashing with thoughts of Quebec separaists. Within Quebec there are 11 different Aboriginal groups. Each of these groups considers themselves to be self determinened. In the attempted process of separation, not all of these groups are being considered. This has caused some of these groups to say they will separate from Quebec if it separates from Canada occurs.

FLQ Flag
FLQ Flag

One of the only causes on Canada of Quebec wanting to separating was the October crisis. A group called the FLQ or //Front de libération du Québec//was extremely interest in the separation of Quebec. In the excessive attempt of getting separation they decided that they would rebel against the province through terrorist attacks. In 1970, the FLQ rebelled by kidnapping two government official in Quebec. Other things to cause havic were done in this province like bombings, dynamic stealing, and robbery by the FLQ. In the fear of militant terrorist faction rising up against the government, the Liberal government, Pierre Trudeau introduced the War Measure Act. This act was used to allow the government to assume emergency power and all the rights of citizens were halted. By enforcing this act, police had more power to arrest people in efforts to find members of the FLQ. On December 28, the conclusion of finding all the member of the FLQ took place after the only 3 left were found.


First Nations Pursing Self-Determination

Under the Assembly of the First Nations, self-determination is:

  • The right to determine their political status and pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.
  • Dispose of and benefit from their wealth and natural resources.

  1. Aboriginal do not want to seek total independence, they just want the right to self-government.
  2. It is believe by many First Nations that self-determination must include change in balance between political and economic power between First Nations and the Canadian government.
  3. Political power means making decision within communities on economic development and education including providing jobs and industries.

In attempts to keep self-determination, Aboriginals have gone to some extremes to prevent their rights from being disturbed. An example of this is the Oka Crisis. The Mohawks of Quebec protested to stop developing of a golf course that was trying to be developed into their land. They protested by setting up a barricade around their land in attempts to stop development. In response to this, a emergency police response team was put into place. They used tear gas and other types of material to cause confusion to the barricade on the ouside of the land. When this crisis made it through the media, Aboriginals across Canada and the United States joined in to support them. The Oka Crisis lasted a brutal 78 days, one death occurred in these days. In the end the golf course was not developed onto the land of the Mohawks.This crisis led to the developing of the First Nations Policing Policy.

Oka Crisis Video

Oka Crisis Caption
Did you know?
The First Nations Policing Policy was developed to ensure a safer communities, increase responsibility, and accountablitity. It was also developed to build new partnerships with these First Nations. This policy provided the First Nations with the following things:

  • A strong voice in the administration of justice in their communities;
  • Police services that respect their cultures and traditions;
  • The same standards of police services as in other Canadian communities;
  • Police services that are accountable to the communities they serve.

Metis Pursuit of Self-Determination
Self-determination has had issue in Canada for the Metis people. Alfred Javier of La Loche was caught while hunting out of season, in March 2005. In March of 2008, these charges were withdrawn because Alfred fought for his right as a Metis. Alfred stated he had the constitutional right to harvest the moose due to that fact that provincial boarders were created after the Metis traditional territory. This was an important issue to the Metis because these harvesting rights were connected with other land-use issues. Arguments were raised between the Metis National Council and the Nations Humans Right Committee because they Metis were arguing that little was done to protect and recognize the Metis right for self-determination.

"Its feels good to be able to say that i was doing nothing wrong when i shot that mosse to feed my family, especially when i was on an area where our people have been hunting and fishing for generations. This is where and how, by hunting, trapping and fishing, that I and our people have always made our living."- Alfred Javier

What Conflict do you think would rise between the Metis and Non-Aboriginal when the charges on Alfred Javier were dropped?

Metis Flag, occurs in both colors

As presented in this page, a few places and groups of people have strived for self-determination. While striving for self-determination, many other people, and Canada as a whole are affected. In the example of the October Crisis, some people in Quebec went to extremes in attempts to get self-determination which effected people all over Canada. In the Oka Crisis there were also some very intense actions taken by the Mohawk Aboriginals People, while they strived to protect their rights of self-determination of their land. Canada was affected because of the road block and the protesting that the Mohawks did. When tradition hunting was taking to court for a Métis man after being caught illegal hunted, rights of the Métis peoples self-determination were disrupted. This showed how the Métis traditional like can have some effects on Canada. In conclusion, self-determination can affect Canada in several different ways, shapes and forms.


· http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Crisis
· http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_de_lib%C3%A9ration_du_Qu%C3%A9bec
· http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0003082
· http://history.cbc.ca/history/?MIval=EpisContent&series_id=1&episode_id=16&chapter_id=1&page_id=4&lang=E
· http://www.cbc.ca/canada/saskatchewan/story/2009/03/24/metis-fishing-rights.html
· http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/quebec.htm
· http://www.canadiandesignresource.ca/officialgallery/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/metis-flag.jpg
· http://www.histori.ca/peace/page.do?pageID=342
· http://www.mta.ca/about_canada/study_guide/debates/october_crisis.html
· http://www.socialismtoday.org/123/economy.html
· http://www.mcgill.ca/reporter/38/02/oka/